Fast Wi-Fi is here, and product tests are coming at us from all directions - but it's still not clear how the different products compare.
We've been checking out consumer SOHO 802.11n gear till we're in danger of getting sick of it, but we haven't seen much in the way of independent tests of enterprise 802.11n Wi-Fi kit, that hooks up multiple access points to a switch or controller.
That's no surprise as, up till now, the kit hasn't been readily available. The first tests have been instigated by vendors - tests are expensive and that's pretty usually how the first one's get done. Aruba got in with a test against Cisco's kit, and Meru's. unsurprisingly, Aruba came out top, and equally unsurprisingly, Meru objected.
Meru was busy on its own account. It had already paid for a test - surprisingly enough using the same three vendors. This test was carried out by an independent analyst - Phil Belanger at Novarum, a veteran of Cisco-acquired Aironet, and a self-confessed enthusiast for the style of WLAN favoured by Cisco and Aruba.
Despite this, the tests put Meru in front, and showed the company's "blanket" WLAN works, apparently. However, Meru's kit was set up by the company's engineers, an opportunity Cisco and Aruba didn't get, our analysis of the tests points out.
Meanwhile, there's another interesting test result, which doesn't compare one AP with another. Siemens claimed its kit could do full strength dual-band 802.11n driven by conventional 802.3af power-over-Ethernet, when it was launched earlier this year - an achievement other vendors said was impossible.
To its credit, Siemens got a sample of its 802.11n equipment off to aqnalyst Craig Mathias at Farpoint Group pretty swiftly, and Craig's answer is Siemens' claim holds up.